When the coronavirus crisis put US businesses and schools on lockdown in March, consumers of all ages and experience levels began to quarantine to put on aprons and dispel their fears. They chose to make their own sourdough, focaccia and challah instead of going the store-bought route. As a result of the DIY bread craze, King Arthur Flour saw sales increase more than 2,000% year over year. The 230-year-old company took the opportunity in July to change its name to King Arthur Baking Company. This change of name and logo reflected his commitment to “kneading joy in the kitchen”.
After conducting consumer research (pre-Covid), King Arthur learned that his audience has always baked to counter what is going on in the world and led misunderstandings among people, lack of community and cohesion, and a hypercompetitive society as some of the main triggers to stress baking. Those insights led to the company’s first campaign since it was renamed, focusing on how baking has the power to bring people together.
The 60-second commercial, produced in collaboration with storytelling production company 1stAveMachine Buenos Aires and agency DCX Growth Accelerator, was released today before the typical Christmas business season. “The Power of Baking” introduces real bakers from New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans who cook together with family and friends in their personal kitchens. The commercial also includes a custom song by award-winning songwriter Alana Da Fonseca, “We Will Rise,” to bring hope in an unusually difficult year.
“The idea was to put a glimpse of unity and hope on screen by portraying authentic, legitimate bakers with deep heritage who stand behind their passion for turning dough into bread and pastries,” said Tomi Dieguez, director of 1st Ave Machine Buenos Aires, in a statement. “What they bake is a living representation of their family traditions, where they come from and what they can make of them. That is what this campaign humbly aspires to: a mix of cultures from today’s American bakers. “
The campaign was launched today on television and digitally and will run until the end of 2020. “The Power of Baking” will be live on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest) until the end of January 2021. The campaign also includes outdoor advertising in Boston, Seattle, Austin, Texas, and Denver from November 2nd through late December, and a series of food podcast promotions that begin earlier this month and run through January 2021.
“So far, people have responded to the things some of us were most excited about, like the final message, ‘We’re going to move up’ or ‘Good things are going to be stepped up,” “King Arthur Baking Company’s director of marketing Bill Tine told Adweek. Tine also said that people have already taken note of the original song. “We wanted to show how baking can be at the heart of resolving cultural tensions, and we wanted something really soulful. And we think Alana picked the right person [Ashley Nguyen DeWitt] to hit the tune, ”he said.
Regarding the decision to launch a holiday campaign before the usual shopping months (November and December), Tine noted that while the holidays look different this year, the messages in the campaign are evergreen. “Some of our commercials are a little timeless. They actually resonate on vacation, but also at other times. Some of the actual baker’s stories we featured because we wanted to be authentic may be more holiday specific because they have to do with collecting, ”he said.